Last updated: February 13. 2014 11:26AM - 643 Views

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COLUMBIA — Support for Rep. Mike Anthony’s campaign for State Superintendent of Education continues growing within the Democratic party.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, the Anthony campaign announced that more than 50 Democratic leaders from across South Carolina had endorsed Anthony for Superintendent of Education. The announcement states that the grassroots leaders include county chairs, executive committee members, delegates to the state convention, and former elected officials.

“I am overwhelmed by the amount of grassroots support our campaign has received so far,” said Anthony. “These folks are true leaders in the party and in their community. They are the building block of our campaign. They’ll help us get our message out from the mountains to the coast and everywhere in between.”

SC Grassroots Democratic Leaders endorsing Anthony:

• Anne Watson — President, Charleston County Democratic Women

• Audrey Witherspoon — Greenwood County

• Bob Aubin — Charleston County

• Boyd Brown — DNC Committee Member — Former State Representative — Fairfield County

• Brady Quirk-Garvin — Charleston County

• Carol Fowler — Former Chairman, South Carolina Democratic Party

• Carol Kelley — Greenville County

• Carolyn Keese — Oconee County

• Cynthia Potter Smith, Ph.D. — York County

• Danny Shaw — National Distinguished Principal — Richland County

• David Blackmon, Ph.D. — Former Chairman, SC Board of Education — Darlington County

• David Pitts — Laurens County

• David Stewart — Lexington County

• Derek Lampe — Oconee County

• Dr. Nancy Moore — Charleston County

• Ellis Jenkins — Union County

• Eric Hayler — Spartanburg County

• Floyd McGurk — Greenville County

• Francee Levin — Richland County

• George Kanuck — Beaufort County

• James Byrum — Richland County

• Jane Pulling — Berkeley County

• Jim Bryan — Laurens County

• Joel Arnold — Oconee County

• John Giles — Beaufort County

• Johnnie Fulton — Greenville County

• Joseph Guess — Bamberg County

• Kaye Martell — Greenville County

• Laurie Walden — Richland County

• Lonnie Hosey — Chairman, Barnwell County Democratic Party

• Maggie James — Chester County School Board

• Maria Steve — Charleston County

• Michael Carter — Horry County

• Michael R. Thompson — Spartanburg County

• Mickey Gist — Union County

• Norval Davis — Greenwood County

• Pam Hricik — Charleston County

• Ray James — NEA Director for SC

• Rebecca Tinsley — Anderson County

• Richard Glover Jr. — Beaufort County

• Rose Pellatt — Spartanburg County

• Sally Howard — Horry County

• Sandra Ray, Ph.D. — Richland County

• Sheryl Mack — Charleston County

• Susan Cyr — Greenville County

• Tim Moore — Former Chairman, SC Board of Education — Barnwell County

• Tom Davies — Spartanburg County

• Vida Miller — Former State Representative — Georgetown County

• Wayne Wicker — Laurens County

• Will Maxey — Former 3rd Vice Chair — SC Democratic Party — Horry County

• William Rogers — Marlboro County

• William Salter — Lexington County

• Zerno Martin — Spartanburg County

This was the second major endorsement of Anthony’s candidacy announced by the campaign in a little over a week.

Earlier this month, Anthony’s candidacy was endorsed by former governor Jim Hodges.

Hodges, a Democrat who served as governor from 1999-2003, cited Anthony’s long record of service in public education, saying that he had dedicated his life to public schools, serving as both a teacher and a state championship winning football coach. He said Anthony is what the public school system needs, a proven leader with a track record of success, and expressed confidence that Anthony would be a strong advocate for students, parents, and teachers.

Anthony, who has represented District 42 in the S.C. House of Representatives for six terms, announced in August that he would seek the Democratic nomination for State Superintendent of Education. During six of his 12 years in the House, Anthony was a member of the House Education Committee. He is currently a member of the House Rules and Ways and Means committees.

Prior to his election to the District 42 seat, Anthony worked for more than 30 years as a public school teacher. In addition to being a teacher, Anthony coached football at his alma mater, Union High School, for more than 20 years, leading the Yellow Jackets to state championships in 1999, 2000, and 2002.

In announcing his candidacy, Anthony called for an end to partisanship in education and for a renewed focus on and support of teachers doing the job of educating children. Citing his experience as both teacher and football coach, Anthony said if elected the team he would assemble the State Superintendent’s Office would include both teachers and representatives of the business world.

Anthony said that given how crucial education is to the future of South Carolina and the nation it is is important that the teaching profession regain the respect it had when he began his career as an educator. He also said that education is key to economic success, pointing out that there are 11,000 jobs in the Upstate that are not being filled because the region doesn’t have a large enough workforce of persons possessing the skills to fill those jobs. If elected, Anthony said he would work to ensure the educational system provides the training needed to give students the skills needed to fill those high-paying jobs.

Democratic and Republican party primaries will be held on June 10 and the general election on Nov. 4.

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